Wigan manager Roberto Martinez’s future is still in doubt after the Spaniard will not announce his plans until next week, but where is he most likely to go, and what he will have to do to be successful there? I have decided the 3 clubs that I believe are his most likely destinations, come the start of next season…
If Martinez is to stay at the Latics, then it will be a new adventure for both him and a majority of the Wigan team as they compete in the Europa League for the first time in their history. There are no other vacancies that Martinez is linked with which offer European football. His relationship with Chairman Dave Whelan is one that is very strong and it will be very difficult to break the bond between these two.
However, a tough Championship campaign next year will make his job tougher, the bigger players will want to move on to bigger clubs in the Premier League if an offer comes in, and in contrast to previous seasons in which the Wigan boss has been linked with more established Premiership clubs, the chance to return to the top flight would be much harder to turn down.
Everton are perhaps the biggest club that are possibly after Roberto. They have just completed a magnificent final campaign under David Moyes- who leaves to take over at Manchester United. Everton have a team full of character- much like Wigan, and Martinez man management skills will benefit the team from Merseyside. If Roberto can create a relationship to Bill Kenwright similarly to Dave Whelan, then he could be in the Goodison Park dugout for a long time.
Problems that would face Martinez is the fact Everton don’t have the biggest budget and perhaps his eyes in the transfer market and finding affordable talent isn’t his strongest point as a manager. Martinez will also have to keep hold of star players such as Maraoune Fellani and Leighton Baines.
After the dismissal of Tony Pulis earlier in the week, Stoke will be looking for a manager to bring in fresh ideas to the club and perhaps a change in philosophy, something which Martinez can bring to the table. He may be able to transform a team famous for its physicality to perhaps one that likes to play it along the floor.
That won’t be an easy transition though, it will take time for the set of stoke players to adapt- hence a major set of transfers may be required. Stoke will be a challenge to keep in the Premier divison next year whoever maybe in charge, and if Stoke want stability- perhaps Martinez isn’t a manager to take the chance on.
In the end, I personally think Martinez will remain Wigan boss next season; I’m sure the Spaniard would prefer the prospect of trying and secure promotion rather than another relegation scrap he could face at Stoke or even Everton. The opportunity of European Football is rare for a manager who isn’t at one of the “big” clubs- and to pass that on would be a catastrophe for Martinez- as you are not sure how many chances he will get in a Europa League or Champions League. Finally, to break the connection he has with Dave Whelan will be heartbreaking and although things don’t last forever, I don’t think another year at Wigan will hurt.